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Eloxx Pharmaceuticals acquires Biotech Zikani Therapeutics

Eloxx Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company has acquired Zikani Therapeutics, Inc. in an all-stock transaction. It also includes complimentary ribosomal RNA-targeted genetic therapy platforms and therapies for the treatment of rare diseases and oncology. The pharmaceutical company faced hard times during the pandemic and it had to cut down a lot of staffers.

Sumit Agarwal, president, and chief executive officer of zikani therapeutics now President and Chief Executive Officer of Eloxx pharmaceuticals, and Vijay Modur, M.D., Ph.D., Zikani’s chief scientific and medical officer, becomes Eloxx’s head of R&D.

The stockholders will receive approximately 7.6 million Eloxx common shares and own approximately 16 percent of the combined company according to the merger agreement. The company focuses on Cystic fibrosis, a field that is dominated by new therapies from the vertex with ELX-02, which is ribosomal selective.

Tomer Kariv, Eloxx Chairman said that with the strength of the ELX-02 program for cystic fibrosis, this merging of two companies provides the opportunity to amplify the potential of our innovative science by developing a new class of therapies to treat disease with limited to no treatment options under the stewardship of the leaders with an ability to use technology to help patients.

Last year Eloxx Pharmaceuticals stock fell around 30% when data from the drug showed reductions in white blood cell cystine were observed in the two higher doses in the first cohort in three pairings, but none of the reductions reached the therapeutic objective. The lowest dose also failed to show any effect on white blood cell cystine.

ELX-02 is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials in Cystic Fibrosis patients affected by nonsense mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. The investigational therapy has shown strong activity across a full range of mutations in Cystic fibrosis preclinical models.

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